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Set your Intention: Achieve the Incredible!

Updated: May 28, 2022

by Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D.

Aha ... You wake up in the morning and you have a fantastic insight. It motivates you to action and you get right to work on achieving that insight. You set the intention. I will say that again: You set the intention.

Now, what is your intention that you wish to set? Let's try an experiment and see what you think: Let's say that you want to set the intention that you are going to think about living a healthy lifestyle. It may not be that easy as it takes work and action. But, to put that goal into action, you still have to set the intention first.

Setting an intention starts in your mind first. You will need to believe that you can influence your mind to set the intention for you to live a healthy lifestyle. Repetition is the key. Thoughts can be very fleeting. You could have wonderful great intentions and something comes along to interrupt your focused train of thought. You become distracted. Maybe you end up arguing with someone, a colleague, a family member and your intention temporarily becomes derailed. How do you get back on track? Get a hold of yourself. Calm down. Re-focus.

Distractions and derailments are almost demonic in nature. They push back at your thinking and behavior and serve the purpose of regression. But, if you set the intention, you can turn a regression into a transcendence to something new, beautiful and powerful. Sounds like positive psychology, doesn't it?

If you set the intention, is it possible that your thoughts can lead to more self-enhancing and self-constructive behavior? Let's explore the process:

  • Set the intention that you will cease self-destructive behavior and thoughts and replace them with healthy thoughts and behavior.

  • After doing this for one whole week, check in with someone that you trust or a professional in order to evaluate your progress.

  • Also review the obstacles that you encountered and the resistances.

  • Did you fall off the track? Were you able to get back on the track again?

It's always two steps forward one step backward. Everything goes through a process of disruption. How do you feel about disrupting yourself? When you set a new intention, you are disrupting old counterproductive behavior and thoughts.

What about resistance? That's why they have Alcoholics Anonymous and weight watchers types of organizations. These organizations and others like them, exist in order to help you overcome and change outdated, self-defeating, self-destructive thoughts and behaviors. They are not the only resources that are available to help you examine the way you think and the way you behave. However, ultimately it is up to you to creatively set the intention that you were going to live and think in new and constructive ways.

As a psychotherapist in practice for decades, I have had to deal with my own and others' resistance to change. It all starts in the mind and the brain. All patterns of behavior are reinforced by repetitious self-destructive thinking and actions. In order to change the brain, powerful repetitive new ways of thinking and behaving are required. Are you ready to take on that challenge? I will repeat over and over again about the power of repetition.

You have to to set the intention to think, live and act differently usually in the direction of a more healthy and happy lifestyle.

This also applies to your professional and business life. Every person has a unique way of thinking about how to make a living. The choices that you make can determine how you live the rest of your life. But, you can think of your life as having many different phases and stages. Each one of those phases and stages has a certain way of thinking behaving and living. Fortunately, you can change and move through, over and beyond any particular phase and stage of your life. It just requires you setting the intention to change your thinking and your behavior to something more productive, happier, healthier and fulfilling.

Sometimes, when you look at how someone is conducting their business, you might have become somewhat critical. But, that person or institution that you criticized, may have been successful to a certain degree. You may not have liked or admired their way of producing their success. But, perhaps they found a way to promote a system in a way of becoming far more successful and wealthy. Maybe, if your insight center tells you to look at that business or person in the way they did business, you could learn something and change your way of thinking.

- Remember the PARADOX -

Whatever way you previously thought about something, can easily be turned around and made to serve in your favor. Depression can be turned around; so can addictions to drugs, alcohol and other things. That's the paradox. Nothing is written in stone. Everything is subject to change and disruption; including your mind and your thoughts. Go for it...


Sometimes there is no easy way to navigate what is happening in your life. If you find yourself in difficult situations more often than you like, contact us to schedule an appointment. I have the tools and strategies that will help you recognize those types of conversations and navigate them with confidence and ease. Teletherapy sessions are available as well as our library of life enhancing ebooks and media programs to use daily to reduce stress, maximize options, strengthen relationships, and create joy in your life. Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D. LMFT

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